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Russian Lawmakers Back Bill Decriminalizing Domestic Violence | The “Slapping Law” accepts a First Offence of Domestic Violence & Violence Against Children



MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JANUARY 27, 2017: Alena Popova, a human rights activist leading the Human Capital Foundation, stages a lone protest against a Russian State Duma bill reducing punishment for domestic violence, in front of the State Duma building. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS (Photo by Vladimir GerdoTASS via Getty Images)

A bill that would decriminalize some forms of domestic violence in Russia passed a key stage in the Duma on Wednesday.

The bill, dubbed the “slapping law,” decriminalizes a first offence of domestic violence that does not seriously injure the person, making it a less serious administrative offence. The bill also includes violence against children.

More than 85% of legislators in Russia’s Duma approved the bill on Wednesday in its second reading.It will need a third reading and vote before going to the upper house and then to the president to sign into law.

The bill’s sponsors, including conservative senator Yelena Mizulina, say the proposed law would simply bring family law into line with reforms passed last summer that loosened punishment for other minor assaults. Mizulina, a staunch proponent of traditional values, was also the author of Russia’s controversial “gay propaganda law,” which prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.”

Women’s rights groups have vocally opposed the bill, saying that decriminalizing assaults will only encourage more violence in a country where the rate of assaults in homes is relatively high. Human Rights Watch has urged parliament to reject the law, calling it “dangerous and incompatible with Russia’s international human rights obligations.

“Passage of this law would be a huge step backwards for Russia, where victims of domestic violence already face enormous obstacles to getting help or justice,” said Human Rights Watch Russia researcher, Yulia Gorbunova.

Activist Alena Popova has launched a petition on demanding that the Duma pass a completely new law against domestic violence. More than 224,000 people have signed it.

Official data on domestic violence in Russia is not centrally collected so it’s difficult to verify. But state-run news agency RIA Novosti has reported that 40% of serious crimes in Russia are committed in the family, 36,000 women are beaten by their husbands daily, and 12,000 women die yearly as a result of domestic violence — one woman every 44 minutes.

SourceCNN | Photo Credit: Getty Images/Vladimir Gerdo/TASS


  1. dascus

    January 28, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Women can sometimes be out of control.

    • Anon

      January 29, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Speak for your mum abeg. And even if she’s out of control, why do you think it’s okay to hit a human being, even your child? Why do you think you should raise your hand and strike a human being? When the disciples offended Jesus did he beat them? It’s now you that thinks it’s okay to beat a human being

  2. hadiza

    January 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Of cos. I’m sure 98% of the ruling members are men. Why won’t they pass this bill when men clearly hate women and love to oppress us?? Disgusting misogynists. These animals are sick. Decriminalizing domestic violence?? really?? women better wake up. Get yourself a damn gun. It’s time to fight fire with fire.

    • Janome525S

      January 29, 2017 at 8:31 am

      My dear, I was about to launch a tirade on the menfolk when i noticed that one of the sponsors for the bill is a ‘traditionalist’ woman who also authored the gay law. Sometimes, we women are our own worst enemies.

  3. Adunnie

    January 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    ‘The bill, dubbed the “slapping law,” decriminalizes a first offence of domestic violence that does not seriously injure the person, making it a less serious administrative offence. The bill also includes violence against children.”
    Wow… Just wow.
    Despite the number of deaths recorded around the world due to domestic violence these ones want to decriminalize some forms of DV because its the abusers first time and the abused doesn’t have any serious injury… Issokay. The world has gone to shit.

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